TN villagers block roads leading to Kerala

The simmering tension over the Mullaperiyar dam issue showed no signs of abating.

Last Updated: Dec 12, 2011, 17:55 PM IST

Theni: The simmering tension over the
Mullaperiyar dam issue showed no signs of abating as people
from different villages in border areas of Tamil Nadu blocked
vehicular traffic on Cumbum-Mettu road to Kerala for the third
day on Monday.

However traffic was allowed on two other routes -- via
Kumili and Bodi Mettu, officials said.

Border areas on both sides of Tamil Nadu and Kerala have
been witnessing sporadic incidents of violence over the issue
with protesters on either side targeting vehicles and people.

Police said talks had been held with the villagers,
urging them to exercise restraint in their protests. Kerala
Police had also been urged to keep a close watch on those who
attacked vans and people from Tamil Nadu, they said.

Asserting its rights on the dam, the Jayalalithaa
government had yesterday convened a special assembly session
on December 15 to assert its right on the issue and announced
Tamil Nadu would not give up its rights over Mullaperiyar due
to `imaginary threats` on its safety and security raised by
Kerala.

This move came two days after a special session of Kerala
assembly passed a unanimous resolution demanding construction
of a new dam to replace the 116-year-old Mullaperiyar dam.

The row over the dam has escalated in recent weeks, with
Kerala insisting on a new dam to replace the 116-year-old
structure, citing safety concerns, leading to attacks on
Tamils and Keralites in some parts of both states.

However Tamil Nadu has said the dam is as good as a new
one and moved the Supreme Court on the issue. The dam is in
Kerala, but controlled by Tamil Nadu on a 999 year lease.

PTI